Rick Perry, as the leader of one of the nation's most powerful conservative powerhouses, has long been a mouthpiece for the GOP. With a burgeoning 2016 presidential campaign underway, Rick's public comments are set to become even more frequent.
Of course, the tragic attack on Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church Wednesday evening is no exception. Perry and other presidential hopeful have almost uniformly released statements about the shooting, and today Rick appeared on conservative media outlet Newsmax to flesh out his thoughts on the event.
Perry was first asked to address the president's comments following the Charleston shooting, specifically what Obama had to say when it came to limiting access to firearms. Rick said that the problem was deeper than guns and had more to do with "evil and cowardice."
"That's always the knee-jerk reaction, you know. If you we just take the guns out of the hands of everyone in this country, these type of thing won't happen again. As long as evil and cowardice is alive in the world as I suggest that it has been... we need to be working to bring people together in this country."
"This is the modus operandi of this administration, any time there is an accident like this. The president is clear, he doesn't like for Americans to have guns and so he uses every opportunity, this being another one, to basically go parrot that message."
"This was a crime of hate – we know that. It seems to me, again without having all the details about this, that these individuals have been medicated and there may be a real issue in this country from the standpoint of these drugs and how they're used. I know for a fact, being a substantial supporter of our military and our veterans, that the VA for instance is handing out these opioids in massive amounts. Then people question why these young individuals can't get work or why is the suicide rate is so high. I think there's a lot of issues underlying this that our country needs to [address] have rather than a knee-jerk reaction of, 'Take all the guns away and this won't happen.'"
[Image via YouTube]